A toll-free number listed in more than a million Honda owners' manuals was supposed to direct callers to a government hotline — not to another number where the conversation is probably about anything but auto safety.
Honda Motor Co. said it incorrectly published an 800 prefix, rather than an 888, on a toll-free vehicle safety telephone number in 1.2 million manuals for 2006 model year Honda and Acura vehicles and Honda motorcycles.
Owners who dial the 800 prefix hear a recorded message in which a woman's voice, speaking over a funky beat, urges them to call 1-800-918-TALK for "just 99 cents per minute."
"It was a misprint," Honda spokesman Chris Naughton said.
In a letter last week to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Honda said it will send postcards to dealers and owners in August with the correct NHTSA hotline information — 1-888-327-4236 — along with instructions to insert the card into the proper section of the manual.
The manuals, which were printed from August 2005 through July 2006, were also used in 18,000 Honda Fit compact vehicles and about 8,000 motorcycles from the 2007 model year.